• Published 21st Oct 2014
  • 1,404 Views, 47 Comments

Terror Tales of the Farm - Yoshi89

Join the Apple family as they wrap up Nightmare Night by telling three scary stories.

  • ...

I See Dead Ponies

I remember the time you told me Ponyville was built on hallowed grounds, Granny Smith, and that ponies have come and gone throughout the ages. I have learned so much about the foundation of our humble town but our ancestors and native Equestrians communicate with us through more than Miss Cheerilee's textbooks. We were all in class when Snips and Snails recalled their sighting of a spirit from the past one night.

"He carried this stick with a sharp rock tied on," Snips recalled, all of us on the edges of our seats.

"He had red paint on his face, too," Snails added. "It looked like someone smeared ketchup on it."

"Did he come after you?" Sweetie Belle asked, her voice cracking.

"No," Snails answered, stifling a giggle, "but he probably would have if Snips didn't wet the bed."

"I spilled my milk!" Snips blushed. Snails gave him a look that all but said he was just a big wuss. We all started laughing at Snips, we couldn't help it. I reckon he wished the ghost took him away that night instead.

They would have told us more about their story but the school bell rang, saving Snips from any further embarrassment. I would have wanted to go crusading that afternoon with Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle but Braeburn dropped by Sweet Apple Acres for a spell. Instead, my friends spent the afternoon with Fluttershy and helped her take care of her animals. While they were having tea, she told them about an abandoned cottage in the Everfree Forest and had heard rumors that it was haunted. Since the place was so close to her own house, she wouldn't let herself or any of her animal friends near it. After Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle said their goodbyes, they strayed off the beaten path behind Fluttershy's cottage.

"Come on, Sweets," Scootaloo said, "this is our chance."

"I don't know." Sweetie Belle shook her head. "That ghost Snips and Snails talked about looked pretty dangerous to me."

"How bad can it be?" Scootaloo asked. "Not all of them are bad, I think."

She led Sweetie Belle further down the dirt path, using whatever sunlight they had left to follow Fluttershy's directions. They spotted the cottage surrounded by trees in the distance when they heard it. Behind a tree next to the house, somepony chanted and beat a drum, but they couldn't figure out who.

"We must be getting close," Scootaloo guessed. They trotted closer and closer to the tree, falling right into the trap of our most feared enemy. Chief Diamond Tiara, dressed all in feathers, pounced out and did this stupid buffalo dance. Of course, my crusader friends screamed, too scared at first to tell it was her.

"How!" Diamond raised her foreleg. "As in 'how' stupid can you blank flanks possibly be?"

Silver Spoon jumped from behind the brush, tom-tom in tow. "Good one!" she egged on her friend.

"Very funny, you two!" Scootaloo retorted.

"What are you doing here anyway?" Sweetie Belle asked them.

"Don't tell me you believe Snips and Snails." Diamond Tiara removed her feathered costume and fixed her crown. "You could trust those two dolt colts as far as you can throw 'em."

"Hey, now!" Scootaloo exclaimed. "They may be onto something. We could learn a lot of things from these spirits."

"Like what?" Silver Spoon taunted. "How to get your cutie marks in the afterlife?"

She and Diamond laughed at my co-crusaders once more, only stopping to "bump, bump, sugar lump, rump" in their faces.

"It just so happens that Sweets and I were on our way to that cottage over there," Scootaloo got in D.T.'s face. "Fluttershy says there's a ghost inside but we'll know for sure once we spend the night there!"

A hard gulp slithered down Sweetie Belle's throat.

"Aren't you two brave little Cutie Mark Cru-lamers?" Diamond snickered. "Why don't we make a game out of it?"

"A game?" Sweetie Belle squeaked.

"If the two of you can survive one night in that cottage from sunset to sunrise without chickening out” – Scootaloo glared at the bully's choice of words – “Silver Spoon and I will give you ten bits. Otherwise, you and Scaredy Belle owe us ten bits."

With a fire in her belly, Scootaloo shook our enemy's hoof. "Deal!"

"The sun's going down," Sweetie Belle reminded everypony.

"Good luck, you little foals!" Silver Spoon shot Sweetie and Scootaloo a wicked smile.

"You two are gonna eat those words for breakfast tomorrow," Scootaloo promised them. She led Sweetie Belle on a slow walk toward the front door. In spite of it being slightly run-down and boarded up, it looked somewhat habitable for a building not terribly deep in the Everfree Forest. They climbed the steps up to the front porch and Scootaloo knocked on the door.

"Uh-oh!" Sweetie grinned. "Nopony's home! That's too bad, guess we'll have to turn back."

Scootaloo pulled our jittery friend's tail and said, "Not so fast." She rattled the knob and pushed the door open, exposing the decrepit interior to the fillies for the first time. It would have reminded them of Fluttershy's cottage had the place not gone to shambles. The single room they walked in on had floors completely covered in dust and leaves that had blown in through some broken windows. The house itself seemed empty, save for an ash-ridden fireplace and mantel, some warped wooden furniture and two sets of stairs, one leading to the second floor with the other leading to the basement.

"I can't picture anypony wanting to live in this dump," Scootaloo coughed as she shut the front door, "even if it's just for one night."

"Maybe if you're a ghost." Sweetie Belle looked around, a quiver in her voice.

"We're gonna be fine, Sweets," Scootaloo bolstered her, "trust me."

"I still don't know about this," Sweetie sighed.

Scootaloo reached for a candlestick on the mantel using her wings. "You'll feel better after we get some light in here," she said, bringing the candle over to a table in the center of the cottage. "Now, help me look for some matches."

Sweetie Belle trotted to the other side of the cottage where the kitchen sat motionless. She started opening the drawers and to her surprise, found a matchbook with plastered with Carousel Boutique's likeness. With the little unicorn magic she had in her, she struck the match and lit the candle with it before blowing it out. She and Scootaloo pulled up old wooden chairs and gathered around the welcoming flame when she noticed an old framed picture on the floor.

"Hey, Scoots," she said, "take a look."

My two friends held the picture up to the candlelight and wiped the dust off the plate-glass window. Three earth ponies shared the space: one fully-grown stallion, one fully-grown mare and one school-age colt. They both focused their eyes on the colt, with his bright yellow coat, unkempt sandy blond mane and unmarked flanks. Then, down in the basement came an ear-splitting clatter. My other two crusaders jumped at the commotion and held onto each other for comfort. Sweetie Belle clutched her chest with one of her forehooves, keeping her heart from jumping out of her ribcage.

"What was that?" Sweetie Belle yelled.

"Whatever it was, it came from the basement" Scootaloo guessed. "I'll go check it out."

"Be careful, Scootaloo."

My pegasus friend creaked open the basement door and only took one step before the clanging continued once again. Sweetie Belle hid behind a chair, her imagination getting the better of her.

"Scoots?" she called finally. "What's down there?"

"Ah-mmp!" came her answer and nothing else.

"Scootaloo?" she whimpered.

Everypony has that feeling of being alone in a strange or dark place. Unsettling, is it? For Sweetie Belle, this nightmare had only just begun. Somepony or something in the cottage wanted Scootaloo and it wasn't going to stop until it got Sweetie Belle too. She dashed away from the chair and rattled the front door. It wouldn't budge so the only thing left for her to do was hide. She dove under a rocking chair and covered her face with fright. Who knows? Maybe the monster in the house just hated chairs.

Or not. Sweetie Belle felt something tug on her hind ankles, forcing her to grab onto the chair legs for support. "HELP!" she screamed. "Somepony! Anypony! Help me!"

The moment she stopped screaming, her ankles were released and high-pitched shrieks followed along with frantic galloping.

"IT'S HIM! IT'S HIM! RUN!" a filly screeched, too shrill for Sweetie Belle to recognize the voice.

"The door's stuck!" a second filly cried.

"You foal, we did that!" the first shouted. "Help me move that chair!"

Sweetie Belle caught a glimpse of Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon as they jumped on a chair and dove through a window into the Everfree Forest. She then crawled out from underneath the chair and trotted over to the wide-open window of the cottage. Nice try, she thought as the two bullies disappeared into the night.

She then felt a chill envelope her, the kind you'd swear you'd feel in the early evening once the night settles. Turning around, she saw the image of a colt staring back at her in the flickering candlelight. Sweetie Belle gasped and backed up toward the wall, standing up on her hind legs while beads of sweat trickled down her coat.

"Oh, I'm sorry!" the colt apologized. "I didn't mean to scare you, too."

"Who are you?" Sweetie Belle squeaked.

"My name's Potato Roll," he gestured to himself. "I heard you screaming and I went down to stop those fillies from bothering you."

"You mean, you helped me?" Sweetie Belle's eyes lit up. "Oh, thank you!"

She reached out her foreleg but Potato Roll took a step back and said, "Uh, don't mention it!"

"Say, you didn't happen to see an orange pegasus, too," she checked. "Did you?"

"You mean the one those fillies threw in the closet?"

"Oh no!" Sweetie Belle cried. "I hope she's all right."

Potato turned tail, Sweetie Belle beaming and holding back a squeal when she saw his flanks. Perhaps she finally found another case for the three of us to lift the "No Colts Allowed" rule in our club. The unicorn filly looked back down and discovered the family portrait again lying on the floor. Any fears or doubts on Sweetie Belle's mind scurried off when she matched the colt on the picture to the one standing nearby. She had so many questions to ask him but all that changed when he showed her where the closet was. She went over and when she opened the door, her smile spanned even further across her face.

"Scoots!" she yelled, using her horn to pierce the ropes our enemies bound her with.

"Hmmf mmm, Fwmm-mm-hmmm," Scootaloo mumbled.

"What was that?" Sweetie Belle asked.

Scootaloo untied the cloth gag on her mouth. "I said, 'Thank you, Sweetie Belle.'"

"Scoots," Sweetie stepped back and waved for the colt to come closer. "This is Potato Roll. He got rid of the bullies for us."

"How did you find us here?" Scootaloo wanted to know.

"My dad built this cottage," Potato Roll said. "He was a potato farmer from Long Bridleland and he moved out here with my mom. They don't live here anymore."

"Why not?" Sweetie Belle asked.

Potato Roll gasped through his teeth and took a step back. "I'd rather not say."

"Go on," Scootaloo insisted, "you can tell us."

"Okay." the colt ruffled his mane. "Have your parents ever said, 'Don't play ball in the house'?"

"My sister tells me that all the time," Sweetie Belle admitted.

"A few months ago, I was upstairs in my bedroom playing with my hoofball when..."

Potato Roll sighed and put his head down, a pregnant pause following.

"Did you get hurt?" Sweetie Belle finally asked.

"Did you break something?" Scootaloo followed.

Potato Roll shook his head to both questions. "I fell out the window."

"You're an earth pony!" Scootaloo gasped. "There's no way could have survived the fall!"

"But I did," Potato Roll went on.

"How?" the two fillies asked.

"I wish I knew," Potato Roll sighed. "I never hit the ground. The next thing I saw when I woke up was a bed of dark blue feathers and a mare with a beautiful blue coat and a sparkling mane."

"Princess Luna saved you!" Sweetie Belle grinned from ear to ear.

"Luna?" Potato Roll scratched his chin. "You're pulling my coronets. I thought she only appeared in our dreams."

"She does," Scootaloo explained. "Now I guess she does even more than that."

"What about your parents?" Sweetie Belle went on. "Do they know you're alive?"

"I don't know," the colt put his head down. "After Princess Luna brought me back here, I never saw my mom or dad again. I've been waiting in our house for them to come back ever since."

"Alone?" Scootaloo asked.

"Nopony else comes out to this part of the woods," Potato Roll explained. "You're the first ponies that ever visited me."

"That's because," Sweetie Belle continued, "we thought this house was haunted."

"Haunted?" one of Potato's eyes widened while the other shut. "Who said it was?"

"Our friend Fluttershy," Scootaloo told him. "You know, she lives with all those animals near the edge of the forest."

"But I never saw a ghost in this house," the colt answered. "Mom always said there was no such thing."

"I guess you're right, then," Sweetie Belle shook her head. "I suppose Snips and Snails were making it all up."

"In that case, our work here is done." Scootaloo proclaimed, walking from the closet. "We'd better get going, Tater. Maybe Diamond Tiara forgot about the bet already."

"Come visit again!" Potato Roll waved.

"We'll never forget you, Potato Roll." Sweetie Belle called back to him.

My friends climbed on the chair Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon set by the window before hopping out. They circled to the front of the cottage where Scooatloo kicked her heel on something hard.

"Ow! Shoot!" she swore, holding her hoof up to the moonlight.

"You okay?" Sweetie Belle checked.

"I'm fine," Scootaloo replied. "I almost tripped over this large rock."

"Wait a minute!" Sweetie Belle gasped. "That's no rock, it's...it's..."

Scootaloo's face turned whiter than Sweetie Belle's when she saw what she stumbled over. As the candle in the cottage blew out by itself, the two fillies screamed and galloped away as fast as they could. Nothing was going to stop them until they made it back to Ponyville safe and sound.

Engraved across the top of the stone were the words "Here lies our beloved son, Potato Roll".